Prachanda video spills Maoist beans
KATHMANDU, May 5 – In a video recently leaked to a television channel, Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is seen briefing the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) about his party’s scheme last year to acquire the state power.
Interestingly, the Maoist leader, in the video, babbles out that the PLA strength was inflated during the United Nations verification with an aim to establish Maoist control in the national army after the integration.
Also, it has revealed that the Maoists had taken a strategy to let the Constituent Assembly elections happen only if they could win. Dahal said the Maoists would let the CA elections happen only if they could smell a victorious situation. “Either we would not let the CA happen or the (Nepali) Congress would not. The CA elections will happen only in the situation in which either the Congress or we can win.”
The video broadcast by Image Television for the first time on Monday after Dahal stepped down from the government over the Chief of the Army Staff’s dismissal controversy was reportedly shot at the UNMIN monitored Shaktikhor cantonment on Jan. 2, 2008 before the historic Constituent Assembly elections.
Admitting that the real strength of the PLA was around 7000, Dahal who was the supreme commander of the PLA said the Maoists, however, managed to show the figure as 35,000 to the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), and got 20,000 verified.
“Before the compromise was made in fact we were few. We were about 7,000,” says Dahal in the video talking about the UNMIN verification results, “We managed 35,000 in the camps and it (figure) came around at least 20,000.”
“We shall not say this to others,” the then PLA chieftain said with smiles and added, “But this is the fact.”
Stating had the party shown the PLA’s real strength after the verification the count would drop to 4000, Dahal said, “Our leadership shrewdly made up the regular army from 7,000 to 21,000,” adding, “We haven’t decreased (in number), we have increased. Moreover, we have formed the YCL outside. We haven’t left that (army) structure. We have been adding up thousands there also.”
Addressing the Maoist combatants residing at the cantonment at the time when the country was preparing for the CA elections, he revealed the plan to disapprove the UNMIN verification after winning the polls. “After we win, we will not consider the verification as basis (for the army integration). We will make other provision. Why would we abide by that after we win? … Why would we follow it when we are on the upper hand?”
Moreover, Dahal said the PLA that is politically aware can hold full control over the national army even if it gets entry in a small number. “They (Nepal Army) know only to tread boots. This is not the case with us,” he said, and argued that it was the reason for army chief (Rookmangud) Katawal to publicly speak against the army integration.